Court fees for special exemptions orders to be waived until May

Court fees for special exemptions orders to be waived until May

Nightclubs and late bars will not have to pay court fees or their associated excise duty in relation to special exemptions orders (SEOs) under a waiver applying until the end of April 2022.

The new waiver follows a previous waiver that was in place from 19 October 2021 to 31 December 2021.

Nightclubs and late bars need to obtain a SEO from the District Court for every occasion they want to trade past normal trading hours. SEOs permit extended opening hours until 2.30am.

The court fee for each Special Exemption Order is €300 and an excise duty of €110 per application is also payable to the Revenue Commissioners.

Justice minister Helen McEntee said: “All licence holders, but particularly those serving in the late night trade, have found themselves in such a difficult situation as a result of Covid-19. This government is committed to supporting these businesses and the night time economy to get back on their feet in 2022.

“We initially introduced the waiver in relation to SEOs for late night trade licence holders who traditionally trade past normal opening hours in October of last year, and I am delighted to be able to extend this exemption until the end of April 2022.

“It will be still necessary for the SEO court application to be made and the order to be obtained by the licensed premises.”

She added: “I look forward to further changes in this area as part of my reforms to the licensing laws in the forthcoming Sale of Alcohol Bill.”

Finance minister Paschal Donohoe added: “The waiver of court fees and excise duty for special exemption orders recognises the particular difficulties experienced by the sector where many businesses have been closed for a significant period of time or had to operate at a reduced capacity on reopening last October.”

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